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Lawyer of victims in Degamo attack urges prosecutors to resolve raps

The lawyer of the victims in the deadly attack on Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo has filed a motion asking the panel of prosecutors to resolve the murder complaint against the four respondents allegedly involved.

The four were part of the assault team which swooped down on the governor's residence, killing Degamo and several others.

"Nag motion ako sa panel na i-resolve na nila 'yung kaso. At madali lang po ito. In the next few weeks, lalabas na 'yung resolution ng panel," Atty. Levito Baligod said in an ambush interview.

(I filed a motion before the panel asking them to already resolve the case. It will be just a matter of time. In the next few weeks, the panel will release its resolution.)

Baligod said their witnesses had affirmed their affidavits during the hearing.

He said the respondents Joric Garido Labrador, Joven Calibjo Javier, Benjie Rodriguez, and Osmundo Rojas Rivero had manifested that they would not submit their counter-affidavits.

Murder and frustrated murder raps had been also filed against the suspects before the Tanjay City Regional Trial Court for the killing of Degamo in March.

According to Baligod, other suspects in the killing have been arraigned at the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 52 earlier.

“Nagkaroon ng suspension ngayon dahil nagkaroon ng motion to consolidate the cases kasi nahiwalay yung ibang mga kaso so kinonsolidate muna,” he said.

(There was a suspension due to a motion to consolidate cases. Other cases had been filed separately so they are being consolidated.)

Baligod said Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, the slain governor’s widow, broke down in tears during the preliminary investigation after meeting the suspects for the first time.

“Humahagulgol kanina siya, umiiyak siya kanina sa during the proceedings dahil syempre naalala niya yung nangyari, namatayan siya ng asawa, at ‘yun,” Baligod said.

(She cried during the proceedings because she remembered what happened. She lost her spouse...)

When asked how she was feeling, Mayor Degamo was speechless.

“Wala akong word doon... Mahirap i-describe,” Baligod said.

(I don't have a word for that... It's difficult to describe.)

Degamo later said the case against suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr., who is being linked to the assassination, is about to be filed.

“We’re almost there,” she said.

Illegal possession

Meanwhile, the second preliminary investigation for the complaint of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition filed against Teves and his sons, Axel and Kurt, was also held at the Department of Justice.

According to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the respondents in the case have yet to submit their counter-affidavits.

Atty. Andres Manuel, the legal counsel of Axel and Kurt, said the  CIDG had only submitted additional documents.

“Ibinigay lang po sa amin ngayon at binibigyan kami ng pagkakataon na pagaralan, repasuhin, timbangin kung ano ho ang dapat o nararapat na ipasa sa panel sa susunod na hearing,” he in an ambush interview

(We were given the documents and we will be allowed to study, review, and weigh what we have to submit to the panel in the next hearing.)

The next hearing for the complaint is set on May 5 at the DOJ. —NB, GMA Integrated News